Chapter # 2 Paragraph # 3 Study # 1
July 6, 2014
Dayton, Texas
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<055> Thesis: For the Word of God to effectively work within a believer, the resident "faith" must be characterized by a definitively focused commitment. Introduction: As Paul began to write his next "primary idea", he reverted back to the original idea at the beginning of the letter (1:2): the giving of thanks to God for what He was doing in Thessalonica. In the larger context of the two "thanksgiving" paragraphs, the issue is pretty much the same: the Thessalonians have become "imitators" of those who had earlier embraced the faith. In the earlier paragraph, the "imitation" is of Paul, Timothy, and Silvanus who persevered in the proclamation of the Gospel in spite of much tribulation. In this current paragraph, the "imitation" is of the churches of Judea which had persevered in the face of very great opposition from their own countrymen. Whereas in the first unit regarding gratitude Paul worked most intently with the example the Thessalonians were imitating, in this second unit the focus is upon the opposition upon whom God is going to wreak enormous vengeance. So, with gratitude as the primary focus, Paul felt it necessary to drive two major ideas home: the quality of the example set; and the intensity of the opposition. For our study this evening, we are going to look into what Paul considered the "bottom line" in regard to perseverance in the face of opposition: the nature of the "faith" that is exercised.